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The ground beneath your feet: Finding connection


“This place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.

 

Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move -

against the earth and the sky,

 

The Beloved has bowed there –

knowing you were coming.”


Hazif



We are a culture that prioritises the mind. We peer out from the lofty penthouse of our head, through the lens of our ideas, experience and imaginings.

 

Perhaps through the perspective of our stories and presumptions we seek to, and sometimes in small ways do, gain control or our environment.

 

But really, we might as well try to harness the ocean in a bucket.

 

The world doesn’t care what we imagine it is. It just is. A kingfisher doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide to be something else. It just is a kingfisher and gets on with its day.

 

Humans are perhaps the only creatures on earth who worry about who they might be today. Who they are. Imagine your cat or dog having an identity crisis. When you look them in the eye they look right back, hiding nothing of themselves.

 

We imagine our consciousness is a spark in a bottle – a light of knowing trapped inside our skulls. So, we seek ourselves in the echo chamber of our thoughts – forgetting that we can only know what we know – until we look up and out – until we realise that we might need to relinquish some of our most cherished stories.

 

Until we remember, that consciousness is not a spark in a bottle but the ocean upon which all bottles float.

 

That we can only know ourselves in connection with everything else. And in that realisation what incredible relief!

 

We can let go of our attempt to hold up the world and be IN the world. We can stop trying to hold ourselves away from the world in an attempt to know ourselves.

We can stand on our feet on the earth and be part of it.

 

We can stop trying to know everything; the right thing to do – the right thing to say – the right way to be – and instead be part of the present that is naturally emerging, what is in being, embodied, in front of us.

 

How? I hear you ask. Well getting out of the preoccupations of the mind and into the body is a great start. Breath is the magic key that links our mind, our body, this present moment and the environment. We are breathed by our bodies. Breath can bring our mind into connection with the planet and with other beings on it. Breathing is how we let the world in.

From here we can entrust our mind to our heart – to our lungs – to our belly - to our pelvis.

 

From here we can move with simple breath-timed movements.

 

We can bring awareness to our physical contact with the ground – feet, hands, belly. When we keep things simple the next moment, the next movement is clear.

 

We imagine there are only five senses because this is how we have been taught to translate the world into our understanding. But what about balance – what about the unspoken things that pass between our body and the earth?

 

The things that we cannot know are true and yet somehow, we know them. The way you know what someone is thinking – the way you know what will be around the next bend. The way you think of someone in the morning and they call you that lunchtime.

 

We imagine there are only four dimensions, length, depth, height, time… but what about the interconnectedness of everything.

 

We are taught to prioritise the foreground but the background is the space from which all things arise. The wisdom of the body connects us to the wisdom of the background – to all things – to a readily wisdom and knowing that we can often overlook.

 

I can’t wait to share some grounding movement with you on Tuesday 9th Jan, 9-10am at Scout Hut 6388 and Wednesday 10th Jan 8-9pm at Yogafurie. Email me movingformsyoga@gmail.com or book online.

 

Credit for these ideas:

 

·      Philip Shepard – Radical Wholeness 

·      Christopher Gladwell – Mind Mastery / Conscious Breathwork / Embodied Presence

·      Glennon Doyle shares her letters from love with Elizabeth Gilbert – Podcast

 

 

Finally a poem for you (and note to myself) - Don't stay in

 

‘Don’t stay in

I know it’s tempting

The sofa, the tv

The comfort of your own ideas

 

Don’t stay in 

Go out and break yourself open 

Against a room full of people 

You’ve never met

 

Embrace the horror 

Of your prejudice

Your pride, your envy, your regret

 

Go to the party, the wedding, the private view,

Take a tornado through the ancient history 

you dust around. Clear the mantle. 

Rip it out and build an open fire

Follow the smoke the way the wind takes it 

in a straight line forward through the ash

 

It’s easier not to, I know, but the world needs it,

and you’ll never do it here all alone. 

 

Go out into the wood. Into the water 

Let your skin be pummelled

By salt and sand, by needle rain 

Warm sun. Let them break you open  

 

Go to the coast. Lie in the wild dark 

Where the creatures don’t care 

And the trees don’t care 

And the ocean doesn’t care 

 

Their indifference the relief 

You have forever longed for - 


- one lost downy feather -

- one strand of mane shaken free -

- in a wild dash across the grasses -

- a single pollen mote dropping -

- unwitnessed through the late spring air.

 

Let the world break you open

To find yourself empty 

To find yourself whole 

Part of and yet apart 

The boundary blurring:

 

The earth beneath your back 

The wind across your face 

The space within

The space without 

Part of and yet apart.’

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